Monday, February 4, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie Week 6: Black and White Chocolate Cake

I had been following a group of a few ladies who were baking from the wonderful cookbook Baking: From my Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. Laurie of Quirky Cupcake decided to challenge herself to make one recipe each week from this book. In her first post, she asked if anyone would like to join. Chelle of Sugar and Spice and April of Abby Sweets quickly joined in, and they decided to commit to making one recipe each week and post on Tuesdays, bringing about the name "Tuesdays with Dorie." Soon, a few more ladies joined in. After last week's post, I left a comment on Chelle's blog about how their posts inspired me to buy the cookbook and that everything they were making looked so good. Chelle made my day when she e-mailed me and welcomed me to join. I am very excited about my first week and am going to catch up on the five recipes that I missed! This week's recipe is the Black and White Chocolate Cake, chosen by April of Abby Sweets.

This is a vanilla buttermilk cake with alternating layers of dark chocolate cream and white chocolate whipped cream. I've made layer cakes before, but never where I had to split the layers myself. I was a bit nervous about it, but it went off without a hitch! The creams can be tricky to make, but I was patient with them and was fortunate to get them both right on my first try. You have to be careful when beating the white chocolate cream to firm peaks. If you beat it further, it may separate. The only trouble I had was that I did not have enough white chocolate cream to frost the entire cake, so I had to go back and make more. Other than that, making this cake was a fairly smooth process. I would definitely make it again. Unfortunately, mine is not as pretty as Dorie's, but it sure tastes good! Check out our Tuesdays with Dorie blog to see how everyone else did with the cake. And be sure to come back next Tuesday when we make our next recipe!

Next week's recipe: Jaime of Good Eats 'n Sweet Treats has chosen Brown Sugar-Apple Cheesecake

Black and White Chocolate Cake

For the cake:
2 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 (10 Tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temp
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk

For the dark chocolate cream:
2 cups whole milk
4 large egg yolks
6 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp corstarch, sifted
1/4 tsp salt
7 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted
2 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 5 pieces, at room temp

for the White chocolate whipped cream:
6 oz. premium quality white chocolate
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9X2 inch round cake pans, dust the insides with flour, tap out the excess and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.

To make the cake: Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and sal t.

Working with a stand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and beat for another 3 minutes. Add the eggs one by one, and then the yolk, beating for 1 minutes after each addition. Beat in the vanilla; don't be concerned if the mixture looks curdled. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, adding the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the milk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients); scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and mix only until the ingredients disappear into the batter. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.

Bake for 28-30 minutes, rotating the pans at the midway point. When fully baked, the cakes will be golden and springy to the touch and a thin knife inserted into the centers will come out clean. Transfer the cakes to a rack and cool for about 5 minutes, then unmmold, remove the paper and invert to cool to room temperature right side up on the rack.

To make the dark chocolate cream: Bring the milk to a boil. Meanwhile, in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the egg yolk with the sugar, cornstarch and salt until thick and well blended. Whisking without stopping, drizzle in about 1/4 cup of the hot milk-this will temper, or warm, the yolks so they won't curdle-then, still whisking, add the remainder of the milk in a steady stream. Put the pan over meduim heat and, whisking vigorously, constantly and thoroughly (make sure to get into the edges of the pan), bring the mixture to a boil. Keep at a boil, still whisking, for 1-2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.

Whisk in the melted chocolate, and let stand for 5 minutes. Then whisk in the pieces of butter, stirring until they are fully incorporated and the chocolate cream is smooth and silky. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the cream to create and airtight seal and refrigerate the cream until chilled, or for up to 3 days. Or, if you want to coool the cream quickly, put the bowl with a cream into a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water and stir the cream occasionally until it is thoroughly chilled, about 20 minutes.

To make the white chocolate whipped cream: Put the white chocolate in a heat proof bowl and put the bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Stir frequently to melt the chocolate evenly. Meanwhile, bring 1/2 cup of the heavy cream to a boil.

When the white chocolate is melted, remove the bowl from the pan. Pour the hot cream into the melted chocolate and let it sit for a minute. Using a small spatula, stir the chocolate gently until it is smooth. Let it sit on the counter until it reaches room temperature-it can't be the least warm when you add it to the whipped cream.

Working with the stand mixer with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream only unti l it holds the softest peaks. Turn the machine to high, add the cooled white chocolate all at once and continue to beat until the whipped cream holds firm peaks. Turn the whipped cream into a bowl, press a piece of plastic wrap gently against the surface to create an airtight seal and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 6 hours.

To assemble the cake: If the tops of the cake layers have crowned, use a long serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion to even them. Slice each layer horizontally in half. Place on layer cut side down on a cardboard cake round or on a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment.

Remove the dark and white chocolate creams from the refrigerator and whisk each of them vigorously to loosen and smooth them. With a long metal icing spatula, spread enough dark chocolate cream (about 1 cup) over the cake layer to cover it completely. Top the cream with another cake layer, cut side up, and cover this layer with white chocolate whipped cr eam, making the white layer about the same thickness as the dark layer. Cover with a third layer, cut side up, and cover with another cup or so of the dark chocolate cream. (You'll have some dark chocolate cream left over) Top with the final layer of cake, cut side down, and frost the sides and top with the remaining white chocolate whipped cream. Decorate with chocolate shaving or curls, if you wish.

Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
Source: Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan


April said...

Oh, it looks so good!

Anonymous said...

Your cake looks great! I love all of the chocolate on top!

MrsPresley said...

great job with the cake! glad to have you join us :)

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Your cake looks wonderful! I've had my eye on that one for a while and you did a great job with it.

Anonymous said...

Yours really came out tasty looking. I love how fluffy the layers are!

Peabody said...

You and I had the same problem...not enough frosting!!! Job well done.

Nikki57 said...

Glad you joined us! You cake looks lovely!

Engineer Baker said...

So pretty! Your cake definitely rose more than mine did!

Jhianna said...

Beautiful! Great idea to decorate the cake!

steph- whisk/spoon said...

i think it looks great--perfectly done! and i bet it was delicious!

Brilynn said...

Looks awesome, I love TWD!